Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crockpots: My Side of the Story

This post is in defense of Tina's post, in which she sang the praises of crockpot joy as she made a batch of Denise Stew. (Just kidding.)

I admit, I've never used a crockpot. But in my defense, I must confess that while I only view them as a "stew maker", a meal which I was tortured with as a child many-a-time, I know --way deep down--that's not all they're good for. (For the record, I was also tortured with the likes of liver and onions, chicken gizzards, beets and squash. Sometimes in the same meal. And not from a crockpot. Just in general. Is it any wonder why I'm so picky now? Hello?!)

And while many a cookbook has been written expounding the virtues of crockpots, I can still see and smell my mother's beef stew, bubbling within each one. (Shudder)

Yes, I had a crockpot. It was given to me by my father a few years ago (four..?) as a holiday present. That same year, my sister got an electric skillet from him.

She was jazzed.

I half considered opening the box to see if there really was an actual crockpot inside, and not just a well disguised gift card to Borders or something. But I refrained.

So my gift, while humbly and graciously accepted, sat under the kitchen counter inside the box. Unopened. For almost a full year.

It finally saw the light of day when Dean said he'd volunteered to bring it to work for their Thanksgiving feast. Apparently, they needed a few more of these handy-dandy appliances, and knowing we had a perfectly good (ie. brand spankin' new) one he figured, "Why not?"

Indeed. Why not?

Well, I'll tell you why not. Because it made a charming toaster stand in that same cupboard. In fact, it greatly reduced my need to squat to grab it each morning to make my breakfast.Simply reach in and pull out.

(And yes, I know most people keep their toasters on the counter which eliminates that whole squatting thing entirely, but I don't have the counter space to do that. So there.)

It was then that I officially missed my crockpot. Humph. I got it back of course, just as soon as the co-worker who borrowed it after that was finished making her nasty stews tasty meals. But I still didn't use it for its intended purpose. No siree. It went back into its position as Toaster Perch.

Then another year or so goes by, and now I'm feeling annoyed at having to dust said crockpot box of toaster crumbs. I began to re-consider the obvious...Should I use it??? Like, to actually COOK something?

Ugh. I could taste the beef stew in my mouth already. Or maybe it was throw up?

Either way, the idea didn't go anywhere. I began to consider Ebay and Craig's List instead.

Then a short while later, Lisa-Marie and Amanda were over for some Girl Time. Lisa-Marie casually mentioned wanting to go to the thrift store and buy a....ta da!!...crockpot!

Me, being the very kind, generous, all-together-loving sort of friend I am (hush up), I gave her the crockpot (yup, still in the box) right then and there. Lisa-marie was thrilled and I knew Gertrude would be very happy with her.

That's the crockpot's name, by the way. Gertrude.

(What? Doesn't everybody name their inanimate household objects/appliances? Stop staring at me.)

Where was I? Oh yes. So now, after mulling over Tina's points of ponderance, I'm considering---slightly--very, very minimally, mind you---giving this culinary accomplice to my childhood nightmares a second chance.

Maybe. Perhaps. The jury's still out.

However, I promise to keep you posted in the event I change my mind. Right now, if you'll excuse me, I have to drink some chai to get the taste of puke stew out of my mouth.

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